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Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program
(DOE/EIS-0495)

Umatilla County, Oregon and Walla Walla County, Washington

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) to construct and operate a hatchery at an existing adult holding and spawning facility managed by the CTUIR. The proposed hatchery would be on the South Fork Walla Walla River near Milton-Freewater in Umatilla County, Oregon and would incubate and rear spring Chinook salmon. Spring Chinook were extirpated from the Walla Walla River basin in the early to mid-1900s. The proposed project would augment fish populations available for harvest and aid in establishing a naturally spawning spring Chinook population in the Walla Walla basin.

To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA has prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act. The EIS analyzes two action alternatives and a no action alternative.

Alternative 1 calls for the new hatchery to incubate and rear up to 500,000 yearling spring Chinook smolts for release in tributaries to the Walla Walla River in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. The proposed project would augment fish populations available for harvest and aid in establishing a naturally spawning spring Chinook population in the Walla Walla basin.

In Alternative 2, the hatchery would rear the same fish as Alternative 1, but would also accommodate the rearing of 810,000 spring Chinook smolts for an ongoing Umatilla basin program. This alternative would transfer production of Umatilla spring Chinook from the existing Umatilla Hatchery near Irrigon, OR to the proposed new Walla Walla Hatchery to help alleviate water constraints at Umatilla Hatchery. The transfer would not change other aspects of the Umatilla spring Chinook program such as spring Chinook acclimation and release sites, and the Umatilla Hatchery would continue to produce other fish. Alternatives 1 and 2 would construct new incubation and rearing buildings and equipment, water treatment and delivery systems, auxiliary facilities, and new staff residences. Minor modifications would also be needed at Nursery Bridge Dam downstream of the proposed hatchery to allow broodstock to be collected for the Walla Walla spring Chinook program.

The EIS describes anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and includes mitigation measures that would help avoid or minimize impacts. Effects of methods to more efficiently use water, including a pumpback system and water reuse systems, also are analyzed.

CURRENT STATUS:

BPA released the draft EIS for public review and comment and has held public meetings. Comments that BPA receives during the comment period will be addressed in the final EIS.

PROJECT SCHEDULE:
Scoping comment period
Scoping meetings

Additional scoping - comment period
Draft EIS comment period
Public meetings


Final EIS
If decision to build, construction start

CONTACT:
For environmental information, contact:
Judy Woodward
Contract Environmental Protection Specialist
MBO Partners
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR  97208-3621
or
Kevin Cannell
Acting Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration - ECC-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR  97208-3621

For project information, contact:
Gerald McClintock
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - EWB-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR  97208-3621

DOCUMENTS:
Draft EIS comments received
Public letter
Draft EIS
Comment Form

SCOPING:
Scoping comments received
Public letter - update
Project Map
Comment Form

Scoping comments received
Public letter
Comment Form
Project Map

Notice of Intent


March 28, 2015 to May 15, 2013
April 16, 2013 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon
April 17, 2013 in Dayton, Washington
June 2, 2014 to July 1, 2014
June 2, 2014 to July 1, 2014
October 7, 2014 to November 24, 2014
October 29, 2014 in Dayton, Washington
October 30, 2014 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon
Fall 2016
Summer 2017



Toll-free:      800-622-4519
Direct line:   503-325-8333
Email:          jlwoodward@bpa.gov




Toll-free:      800-622-4519
Direct line:   503-230-4454
Email:         kgcannell@bpa.gov




Toll-free:      800-622-4519
Direct line:   503-230-5375
Email:          gmcclintock@bpa.gov





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